Current ADAS tech vital for preventing crashes


As the automotive industry moves towards the more widespread deployment of automated driving technologies, a new study shows the real-world effectiveness of some of the currently available advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in helping to save lives.

Under its long-term vision of a world with zero crashes, emissions and congestion, General Motors (GM) partnered with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) to understand the efficiency of some of its active safety, driver assistance, and advanced headlighting features that may prevent or mitigate different types of crashes. The results show that several of these ADAS features are making a statistically significant impact in helping to reduce collisions. The study made use of 3.7 million GM vehicles across 20 different models from 2013-2017, with 15 different systems evaluated using police report crash databases available to UMTRI from 10 states.

After comparing the crash instances involving vehicles with and without active safety features, the study showed that certain features evaluated had an impact in preventing the types of crashes that the features were designed to help prevent or mitigate. Significant findings from the GM-UMTRI study include:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking (or Forward Automatic Braking) with Forward Collision Alert reduced rear-end striking crashes by 46%;
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning reduced lane departure-related crashes by 20%;
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert reduced lane change crashes by 26%;
  • Rear Vision Camera alone, 21% reduction;
  • Rear Park Assist functionality, 38% reduction;
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which includes the two previous backing features, 52% reduction;
  • Reverse Automatic Braking, which includes all the previous backing features, 81% reduction in backing crashes;
  • IntelliBeam (35%) and High-Intensity Discharge (21%) headlight features provided reductions in nighttime pedestrian/bicyclist/animal crashes, with a 49% reduction when offered together.

“A key finding of this work is that we can make substantial gains in safety through deployment of advanced driver assistance systems such as forward and rear emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and others. In addition, we found that the more automated the system, the greater the benefits,” said UMTRI’s research associate, Professor Carol Flannagan. “This work looked at reduction in crashes associated with systems already in the hands of drivers in real-world driving environments. Our working relationship with GM is critical to our ability to evaluate the effects of these systems, and we hope that what we learned can motivate more widespread deployment of the most effective technologies.”

GM’s safety technical fellow, Raymond Kiefer, said, “This study is groundbreaking in terms of the broad range of vehicles and active safety and headlighting features examined. The results show that the GM active safety systems evaluated are addressing a wide range of common crashes that cause a staggering amount of injuries, property damage and cost to our customers and society, putting us well on our way toward a vision of zero crashes.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.